The ‘Rules” to Cooking Alone

Eating alone can be a dangerous game.

One thing we don’t often think about, is what standard we hold ourselves to when cooking. It’s easy to play chef when hosting a dinner, or cooking for friends, but what about when your only critic…is you?

When cooking for yourself, it’s much too easy to throw standards out the window. We seek comfort foods, easy foods, and diets that do nothing more than keep us alive. This is because when cooking alone, you have no rules. There is nobody to impress, and nobody to judge you for finishing an entire box of Kraft Dinner by yourself.

My solution: MAKE YOUR OWN RULES.

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No.

Setting rules, and outlining certain dietary standards for yourself can seem arbitrary at first, but can be extremely rewarding in the long run. We see these “rules” at restaurants all of the time, rules like “all organic and locally sourced”, or “fresh caught fish only”. These rules provide guests with reassurance that they’re about to pay for a meal that satisfies their body, as well as their mind.

We can use rules like this in our own culinary adventures to accomplish the same goal. We are our own guests, and we should treat ourselves as such when cooking. Cooking is a treat, and you owe it to yourself to enjoy what you cook and what you eat.

Start simple, such as trying to buy locally sourced products once a week. A weekend trip to the farmers market can be fun, inexpensive, and almost always results in bringing home food that is significantly fresher than anything you buy at the grocery store.

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Roasted cauliflower and garlic bulgar pilaf (imagine if rice tasted like bread – that’s bulgar)

Or, maybe try being experimental! Say, you’ll try a new pasta recipe every single week. Sure it may take some effort and research, but you can at least be assured that you’re not subjecting yourself to eating trash for at least 1/7th of the week!

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Sun-dried tomato pesto and spinach penne. Pasta is easy, versatile, cheap, and DELICIOUS.

My latest rule has been my favourite so far: cutting out meat. It’s something I’ve considered for a while, especially following the release of the latest UN environmental report. It’s forced me to try new things, and has made cooking alone more fun than its ever been. Finding food is now a fun challenge, one that rewards me with delicious new dishes I would probably never try otherwise.

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Teriyaki tempeh and coconut rice. Stir-fry is simple, and keeps well for meal preps. Great choice for solo cookers.

Check out a few of the dishes I’ve made recently, and let me know what kind of rules you follow when cooking for yourself! If you don’t have any yet, consider finding a dietary ruleset yourself! Cooking alone doesn’t need to mean eating like trash, and adopting a level of culinary standards can ensure you’re feeding yourself well, and having fun while doing it.


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